I am bilingual. I speak French (my mother tongue) and fluent English. I think, and dream, and worry in both languages. And every day I am grateful for it. Having a second language opens up a far wider world; one of greater cultural diversity and shared experience. Bilingualism eliminates so many of the barriers the hamper cross cultural understanding.
The events of recent months have weighed heavily on people like me: People who live, love, and work in a country that hasn’t always been our home. We felt part of Europe and the foundations of that belief continue to rattle in the post Brexit aftershocks.
That said, as an entrepreneur and business owner I don’t think I have ever been more certain of my proposition! It has never been more important to explore, learn and master a second language. It puts two fingers up to the closed border culture that is threatening to overtake our societies. What greater statement is there than saying I want to be part of another culture, a culture undiluted by the act of translation.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage was recently quoted as saying he didn’t like to share a train with people speaking any other language but English. Imagine how differently he might see the world if he wasn’t isolated by not being able to understand.
The impact of Brexit will be felt in many ways, sure some positive, but inevitably some negative. UK companies need to prove to their European customers that they still want to do business. Learning their language is a powerful demonstration of that.
At VICI, we are feeling and seeing a European sensibility emerging in many of our students. It is almost as though Brexit has brought out an urge to feel part of a community… A European community. And being able to speak French, Spanish, Italian or German clearly stamps that intention.
As a French national who calls the UK home I feel passionately that we mustn’t create an insular mentality but must focus instead on engaging positively with one another and if that means exploring a foreign language, then maybe that is exactly what we should all do!
The Vici Language Dynamics provides specialist coaching in over 13 languages. For more information on how Vici might support your business needs contact Nathalie on email@example.com